The Ducks’ nightmare continues

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Things are getting so bad for the Anaheim Ducks, people might start feeling bad for Corey Perry.

OK, that’s extreme, but the point is that the Ducks just keep getting creamed. It says a lot, really, that a 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens was almost a … relief? Just consider how many embarrassing defeats this team has endured lately, testing GM Bob Murray’s remarkable patience with coach Randy Carlyle with each passing day.

Jan. 20: 3-0 loss to Islanders
Jan. 23: 5-1 loss to Blues
Feb. 2: 9-3 loss to Jets
Feb. 4: 6-1 loss to Maple Leafs
Feb. 5: 4-1 loss to the Canadiens

That’s five losses in a row, and this Ducks team only has two wins since Dec. 18. After that 9-1 loss to Winnipeg this weekend, Carlyle seemed to attribute that drubbing to the rust that came from the All-Star break, but now what’s the excuse?

[9-3 loss increases criticisms; Huge losing streak doesn’t cost Carlyle his job]

Montreal fired off to a 3-0 lead in the first period alone, allowing the Habs to cruise through the rest of the game. In a lot of cases, “score effects” will help a trailing team to at least dominate the shot count, yet that hasn’t happened all that often for Anaheim. Tuesday fell into that pattern, as despite that cushy Habs lead, Montreal won the shots on goal battle to the tune of 32-25.

Someone might even wonder if the coach has “lost the room” when you look at not just results, but efforts like these.

This five-game losing streak leaves the Ducks at 51 points in 54 games (20-24-9), with the saving grace of the West bubble’s “turtle derby” only going so far for Anaheim. You know things are getting grim when the best argument for Carlyle staying behind the bench revolves around tanking.

Woof. (Anaheim Calling has your tank-related tweets covered, if you need them, Ducks fans. Extra woof.)

Will another painful, flat loss force Carlyle out? Will Murray do something, even if it just means changing the date on his statement standing by Carlyle?

None of that is clear, but the problems aren’t exactly just working themselves out right now.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.